As you are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic poses one of the greatest challenges that society has faced in recent times, and we have all had to make changes to our daily lives to ensure that we work together to protect the most vulnerable members of society. At Unity Health we have had to make a number of responsive changes following recent developments to ensure the maximum safety of our patients, and to protect our staff as much as possible to ensure that the NHS can keep working in an effective manner and can continue to provide the best level of care possible.
As such, during the current period of emergency measures many routine services will be subject to short notice change and many administrative tasks will be streamlined to ensure that we focus more of our time and resources on the delivery of care to those that need it the most.
As part of this streamlining of administration tasks, the Practice will be changing its complaints procedures during this challenging period.
With immediate effect, we will now be reviewing complaints on a weekly basis, to ensure that any high priority complaints that fall within the following categories can be swiftly discussed and any resulting changes to our Practice can be immediately implemented:
- Immediate risks to patients or staff
- Actual harm to patient or “near miss” incident of high severity.
- Urgent safeguarding concerns
- Criminal actions
Should your complaint not fall into these categories, then it will be dealt with when we have capacity to do so, and unfortunately at this time, the timeframe for this is uncertain. We appreciate your understanding whilst we are dealing with unprecedented demand.
Furthermore, it is worth highlighting that as of 26 March 2020, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (which is the organisation that reviews patient complaints where they cannot be resolved locally by the surgery) has stopped accepting new NHS complaints and has stopped work on open cases.